Netflix No Longer Showing ‘Match’ Percentages

The Netflix algorithm has met its match. The streamer is likely to drop those confusing percentages on a tile’s pop-up menu that tell you how well you “Match” with a given movie or show, a Netflix rep confirmed to IndieWire.

Netflix’s “Match” percentage — which tells you how closely the algorithm believes your tastes align with a particular piece of content — effectively replaced its “Surprise Me” function, which was Netflix’s version of Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” search option. Match launched in 2021; “Surprise Me” didn’t click (pun intended) and the button was removed in early 2023.

Now, Netflix is going all-in on Tags, the buzzwords (or phrases) displayed at the very bottom of a tile’s pop-up.

Netflix takes its tags seriously. The streamer has 30 employees responsible for the tags, the New York Times first reported; a Netflix rep confirmed that’s their full-time jobs. Other streamers don’t have the technical capability for similar tags nor the financial resources to employ an entire team of taggers.

“Imagine magazines that have no cover lines, and there were just photographs on them,” Allan Donald, a director of product at Netflix, told the NYT. “Tags make as much of a difference as a cover line in that snap ‘this is for me’ decision.”

Netflix’s chief product officer Eunice Kim told the Times if you haven’t hit play within 53 seconds, the chances of you watching anything drops “precipitously.”

There are over 3,000 tags for phrases like “slick,” “gritty,” “romantic,” “soapy,” and more. NYT reports the most common tags are “romantic,” “exciting” and “suspenseful;” the least used is “Occupation: farmhand.” The taggers even have internal debates about whether to merge similar tags like “finding love” versus “falling in love,” and they’re always debating new ones.

Netflix is always tinkering with its algorithm and recommendation engine. At one point it had a 5-star rating system before replacing it with the more simplistic thumbs up/thumbs down (and two thumbs up) rating. However, tags aren’t new; they date back to Netflix DVDs, which Netflix officially killed off last year.

SOURCE: IndieWire

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